Abstract: The study explored the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon tolerance of indigenous biosurfactant producing microorganisms. Three bacterial species were isolated from crude oil contaminated sites of Haldia, West Bengal. The three species were screened for biosurfactant production and identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as Brevundimonas sp. IITISM 11, Pseudomonas sp. IITISM 19 and Pseudomonas sp. IITISM 24. The strains showed emulsification activities of 51%, 57% and 63%, respectively. The purified biosurfactants were characterised using FT-IR, GC-MS and NMR spectroscopy and found to have structural similarities to glycolipopeptides, cyclic lipopeptides and glycolipids. The biosurfactants produced were found to be stable under a wide range of temperature (0–100 °C), pH (4–12) and salinity (up to 20% NaCl). Moreover, the strains displayed tolerance to high concentrations (275 mg/L) of anthracene and fluorene and showed a good amount of cell surface hydrophobicity with different hydrocarbons. The study reports the production and characterisation of biosurfactant by Brevundimonas sp. for the first time. Additionally, the kinetic parameters of the bacterial strains grown on up to 300 mg/L concentration of anthracene and fluorene, ranged between 0.0131 and 0.0156 µmax (h−1), while the Ks(mg/L) ranged between 59.28 and 102.66 for Monod’s Model. For Haldane-Andrew’s model, µmax (h−1) varied between 0.0168 and 0.0198. The inhibition constant was highest for Pseudomonas sp. IITISM 19 on anthracene and Brevundimonas sp. IITISM 11 on fluorene. The findings of the study suggest that indigenous biosurfactant producing strains have tolerance to high PAH concentrations and can be exploited for bioremediation purposes.
... read more